In three seasons at Mercer University, Jacob Tanis experienced nothing but success. In addition to his second-team All-American honors this season, Tanis was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American, and then as a sophomore, he earned third-team All-American honors from Lousiville Slugger.
In college he combined both patience and power at the plate. Thus far as a pro, the right-handed hitter is still looking to get on-track. He has walked 17 times in 47 games, but he has collected only seven extra-base hits.
Most of Tanis' struggles have come at the Vermont Lake Monsters' home ballpark, where he is batting only .155. On the road, he is batting .273, a hint that better things are on the horizon for 2012.
Donald Moore spoke with Tanis during the Lake Monsters' most recent road-trip through upstate New York.
Donald Moore: How's everything going so far this season?
Jacob Tanis: It's going pretty good, you know. I met a lot of new guys and it's been a great experience so far. You know it's a little bit different than college and college life and the college game. It's a little bit more fast-paced, so hopefully I'll start getting used to it and it's very very enjoyable and a great experience so far.
DM: What do you like most about being a professional ball player?
JT: Just to know that it's been my dream since I was a little kid and it's kind of becoming realized right now. And everyday I get to go out and be a professional baseball player and work on my goal to hopefully, eventually make it to the major leagues and completely fulfill my dreams.
DM: What is your greatest strength as a ball player?
JT: I guess being able to stay focused and, you know, try to be able to put everything else aside and really focus on the game. And kind of shake things off when things get rough.
DM: Any pregame routine?
JT: I usually love to listen to music and I read a little bit. It calms me down before the games.
DM: Favorite thing to do off the field?
JT: Hang out with my friends and my girlfriend.
DM: Favorite team growing up?
JT: The Atlanta Braves.
DM: Favorite player?
JT: Chipper Jones.
DM: If there is one person who taught you most about baseball, who would that be?
JT: Not so much baseball, but life, too. My dad. He's just always been an inspiration for me. He's always out there throwing BP to me and helping me out giving me ground balls and he's always there for me. So he's been the biggest inspiration and biggest help.
DM: Favorite city you ever played in?
JT: Tri-Cities is actually a great place to play, but I really enjoy playing at Lowell, [Massachusetts] and here so far.
DM: Craziest thing you ever saw out on a baseball diamond?
JT: The craziest thing I actually have been a part of was the turn of the first triple play ever at my college, Mercer University, last season. And I was the start of it. So it was pretty cool to actually do that and turn a triple play the old fashion way.
DM: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
JT: Five years from now, I envision myself being with the Oakland Athletics, playing in the major leagues.
DM: Thank you so much for your time and the best of luck to you.